Colorado Avalanche: Paul Stastny Will Be Trade Bait

Patrick OlsenContributor IIIFebruary 15, 2012

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 27:  Paul Stastny #26 of the Colorado Avalanche warms up prior to facing the Winnipeg Jets at the Pepsi Center on December 27, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche may only be three points out of eighth place in the West, but they will not make the playoffs, as they currently have 60 points. Last year, it took the Blackhawks 97 points for eighth, so for Colorado to get there, it would take an unrealistic record. Even if they do make it, I do not see a championship this season.

Colorado would be wise to trade Stastny sooner rather than later. Stastny is almost a point-per-game career player, and although he is a tad overpaid, he is a No. 1 center many teams covet. In Denver, he has no place in the top six once Duchene returns, as he and O'Reilly have emerged as the teams stars.

There are a few trade scenarios in place. No, I'm not going to get anyone excited about Rick Nash because it isn't happening. There is no way Colorado is on his short-list regardless of what they could offer.

The Kings have reportedly offered a package involving Jack Johnson. Although, on the surface, there is no reason for the Avs' to want another defenseman, Jack Johnson is an Olympian and has a great cap hit of only 4.3 million. His acquisition makes other defensemen expendable and can bring in a good winger.

The problem with this scenario is it could be hot air, as most rumors are. L.A. has Mike Richards and Anze Kopitar as centers, so unless one of those is on the way out, Stastny doesn't fit there either. Take this rumor with a grain of salt.

The Leafs are all over the Stastny rumors, as they are all over the Nash rumors...and the Carter rumors...and the Getzlaf...etc. When I look at the leafs lineup, I don't see any of their available players as usable trade bait for a young team like the Avalanche, if any team at all. If they were, the Leafs being a similar age and skill, wouldn't have made them available. Stastny will not be going to the Leafs unless a third team is involved.

Whether or not Stastny is truly available remains to be seen. The Avalanche should trade him for a reasonable return, but also shouldn't trade him just for the point of trading him. Sherman first must understand that the Stanley Cup is not a reality this year.